As societies become more complex a complex change came about. The social system elevated entire categories of people above others, providing one segment of the population with a disproportionate share of money, power and schooling. To a considerable degree, the class system in the United States rewards individual talent and effort. But, our class system also retains elements of a caste system; Ascribed status greatly influences what we become later in life.
Nothing affects social standings in the United States as much as our birth into a particular family, something, which we have no control over. Being born to privilege or poverty sets the stage for our future schooling, occupation and income. Research suggests that at least half of the richest individuals, those with hundreds of millions of dollars in wealth, received their fortunes primarily from inheritance. By the same token, the “inheritance” of poverty and the lack of opportunity that goes with it just as surely shape the future for those in need.
People of both sexes are born into families at every social level. Yet, on average, women earn lower income, accumulate less wealth, enjoy lower occupational prestige, and place lower in some areas of educational achievement than men do. Households headed by women are ten times more likely to be poor than those headed by men. Women make $0.75 for every $1.00 that men make.
Race is strongly connected to social position in the United States. Overall, white people have higher occupational standing than African Americans, and they receive more schooling, especially at the college level and beyond. These differences are evident in median income: African American families earned $26,522 in 1998, which is just 59 percent of the $44,756 earned by white families. gher income is a key reason that 77 percent of white families are more likely to own their own home, than black families, 49 percent.
Another reason for the racial disparity involves family patterns. African American families with children are three times more likely than their white counterparts to have only one parent in the home. Single-parenthood is a strong predictor of low family income.
Ethnicity, as well as race, shapes social stratification in the United States. Throughout our nation’s history, people…
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…n with no husband present, while just seven percent of poor families are headed by single men.
White people usually in a more privileged position to begin with, have been more upwardly mobile than Africans or spanics in recent decades. Women also tend to have less opportunity for upward mobility as well, since the majority of women tended toward clerical or service positions. These positions tend towards little advancements. When a marriage ends in divorce (as roughly as 50% do) women commonly experience a downward movement, with the loss of income and a host of benefits, including health care coverage and insurance benefits.
Social mobility is common in the United States. However there are only small changes from on generation to the next. Without an aristocracy, many people feel that they have a chance at the “American Dream” since Americans believe in the idea of “All men are created equal” statistics show, however, that not all men are created equal, but created “unequal”, especially minorities and women. Despite theses difficulties, there is home to climb the “social ladder” and be a part of the “American Dream”